Police boss Lt. Gen Kale Kayihura and his visiting Rwandan counterpart Emmanuel Gasana on Friday toured a section of the northern corridor to assess the effectiveness of community policing in combating crime and road carnage in the region.
The duo inspected a section of the Ugandan corridor, starting from the city through central and western Uganda to the Uganda Rwanda border posts of Katuna and Kyanika. The corridor links the hinter land countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda to the Indian Ocean.
Gasana is the current chairman of the East Africa Police Chiefs Operation (EAPCCO), an arrangement of 12 countries in the Eastern and Horn of Africa region. Gasana who is on the country on a three day working visit was flanked by a team of senior police officers from Rwanda.
The two made stopovers at the Mpigi and Buwama police stations, along the Kampala-Masaka Highway, notorious for road accidents, and in the past, Highway robberies. There they were briefed about the integrated High Patrol system and the Police emergency centre, all used in combating crime and responding to emergencies such as road accidents before driving through Masaka and Mbarara to Kabale and proceed to the Katuna and Kyanika Uganda -Rwanda border posts on Saturday .
The Integrated Highway Patrol system uses a police patrol truck as a mobile police station. On board the truck are officers from the police field force unit (FFU); a community liaisons officer (CLO), a crime intelligence officer (CLO) and a traffic officer, all working as team while the police emergency centre comprises of five vehicles, a police highway vehicle, a patrol truck, a fire truck, an ambulance and a break down.
At Mpigi, residents told the duo that the community policing system had bridged the gap between the police and the public and was reaping dividends. "The police and the public are working very well together and security here is tight," The Mpigi Resident District Commissioner Miriam Katerega said.
Speaking at Mpigi, Kayihura emphasized the importance of community policing, saying they were on an inspection tour to take stock of police initiatives and their effectiveness. "We are looking and problems such as cross border crime and Highway crime and how to solve them and my colleague is here to prove that the systems as agreed in the meetings are working," Kayihura said
On his part Gasana said he was impressed with what he had seen. "We are trying to assess the northern corridor to ensure that everyone is safe because what happens in Mpigi affects a person in Rwanda and the DRC alike. I have appreciated the Integrated Highway Patrol in deterring crime along the Highways," Gasana said. The Rwanda police boss arrived in the country on Thursday to among others discuss cross border crime in a bid to improve regional security.